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  • Ravenna

  • Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe
  • By: Judith Herrin
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Ravenna  By  cover art

Ravenna

By: Judith Herrin
Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
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Publisher's summary

This riveting audiobook narrated by Phyllida Nash traces the history of the city that led the West out of the ruins of the Roman Empire

At the end of the fourth century, as the power of Rome faded and Constantinople became the seat of empire, a new capital city was rising in the West. Here, in Ravenna on the coast of Italy, Arian Goths and Catholic Romans competed to produce an unrivaled concentration of buildings and astonishing mosaics. For three centuries, the city attracted scholars, lawyers, craftsmen, and religious luminaries, becoming a true cultural and political capital. Bringing this extraordinary history marvelously to life, Judith Herrin rewrites the history of East and West in the Mediterranean world before the rise of Islam and shows how, thanks to Byzantine influence, Ravenna played a crucial role in the development of medieval Christendom.

Drawing on deep, original research, Herrin tells the personal stories of Ravenna while setting them in a sweeping synthesis of Mediterranean and Christian history. She narrates the lives of the Empress Galla Placidia and the Gothic king Theoderic and describes the achievements of an amazing cosmographer and a doctor who revived Greek medical knowledge in Italy, demolishing the idea that the West just descended into the medieval "Dark Ages."

Based on the latest archaeological findings, this monumental book provides a bold new interpretation of Ravenna's lasting influence on the culture of Europe and the West.

©2020 Judith Herrin (P)2020 Princeton University Press
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Magisterial - an outstanding book that shines a bright light on one of the most important, interesting, and under-studied cities in European history. A masterpiece." (Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World)

"This is a masterful study as splendid as Ravenna's mosaics. Bringing to new life the city and the people who shaped it, Herrin explores Ravenna's role as a rival of Rome, a Byzantine outpost in the West, and a model for Charlemagne's imperial aspirations - in short, as a crucible of Europe." (Claudia Rapp, author of Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual)

"A masterwork by one of our greatest historians of Byzantium and early Christianity. Judith Herrin tells a story that is at once gripping and authoritative and full of wonderful detail about every element in the life of Ravenna. Impossible to put down." (David Freedberg, author of The Power of Images)

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